Nov 25, 2021 - Health

U.S. to mandate COVID vaccines for all border crossers in January

Photo of Joe Biden speaking from a podium with the American flag behind him
President Biden speaks during an event at the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

The Biden administration will begin requiring essential travelers crossing U.S. borders to be fully vaccinated starting Jan. 22, a White House spokesperson told Axios Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move comes after the U.S. opened land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel in November, but only to those fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

  • The new mandate will apply to non-U.S. citizens who are classified as essential travelers, such as truck drivers, government workers and emergency responders.
  • American citizens and permanent residents will still be allowed into the country if they are not vaccinated but will face strict testing requirements, AP reports.

What they're saying: "While further operational details will be released in the coming weeks, we anticipate that the operational details will be generally consistent with the approach that is already being applied to non-essential travelers," the administration official said in a statement.

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